Distribution #15, Week of September 14, 2020

The News from Windflower Farm

Every other week, I throw eight five-gallon diesel cans in the back of my pickup truck and head into town for a refill. By my back-of-the-envelope calculation, this translates into less than half a gallon per share per year, which has not changed much over the years. Our bigger use of fuel has to do with trucking from the farm to sites in the city, and that has likewise remained steady at about four gallons per share per year. As I drove to the filling station today, I thought about this week’s tasks. We will try to finish strawberry planting and continue seeding greens for the winter as we have been doing for the past couple of weeks. The greenhouse is full again with benches of spinach, Swiss chard, kale and other very cold hardy greens. It takes about an hour each day to do the watering. We’ll plant them out in our unheated greenhouses in early October, hoop and cover them with row covers and irrigate them twice a week. They’ll be ready for the first winter share delivery on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. More information about the winter share will be coming soon.  

This week’s share

  • Assorted tomatoes
  • Colorful sweet peppers
  • Assorted potatoes
  • Rosemary
  • German White garlic
  • Yellow or green beans
  • Dill
  • Squashes or cucumbers
  • A mix of red lettuces
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Delicata squashes will be in some shares this week, and in every share next week. Eat right away – they do not keep very well. Simply wash, cut in half lengthwise, and bake face down for 45 minutes at 375 or until fork soft. Add a little butter and a pinch of salt or cinnamon. The skin is edible. Your fruit share will be Pete’s last peaches on Tuesday and his last plums on Thursday.

What’s new on the farm?

Two crops were particularly hard for us this year: carrots and potatoes. Hot and dry weather was the chief culprit in both cases, but several growers have pointed to the poor quality of seeds as another possible cause in the case of carrots. You’ll get the first of our potatoes this week. We’ll send our own carrots for a second time next week, and again the following week, and then we’ll be out until our late fall harvest (which was timed for winter shares).

We have purchased crops from neighboring farmers in the past. We set aside some money for the purpose. We don’t have success with every crop we grow, and we don’t want you to have a bad CSA experience. If our radicchio or celeriac or kohlrabi don’t work out, we are not going to go to the market looking to replace them, but if an important staple like carrots or onions or potatoes failed, we would go searching to fill the gap. We have only done this a few times in all of our years as CSA farmers, and we limit our purchases to local growers.

I’ve been trying to buy organic carrots with which to fill out your fall shares, but it turns out that we were not alone in having had challenges. And the local crop is lean. My friend Brian, who farms with his wife Justine, believes they will have some carrots for us, and Jody and Carrie, sisters who farm in Columbia County, expect to also have some. They are excellent farmers and farm on good soils, making them good candidates, with some prior planning, to help with the carrots in our 2021 shares, too. I’ll keep you apprised as to the source of carrots (and any other non-Windflower crops) as they show up in your shares.      

Have a great week, Ted

Author: Central Brooklyn CSA

The Central Brooklyn CSA (CBCSA) is dedicated to working with our partners the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Windflower Farm, and the Hebron French Speaking SDA Church to continue the work of building a Community Supported Agriculture model that increases access to fresh, local produce for all members of our communities, regardless of income level. Join us as we continue to bring fresh, organic, affordable and nutritious vegetables and fruit to the Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and surrounding communities.

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